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Bob Mabry - July 14, 2019

When 2 Years Had Passed - Acts 24

Ears To Hear

Acts 24 Paul has been brought to Caesarea to be put on trial before the governor, Felix. Paul is accused of being a troublemaker, stirring up riots, and attempting to desecrate the temple. When Paul defends himself, he declares that he has a clear conscience in saying he has done none of those things, and there are no witnesses or examples for his accusers to use against him. Felix does not make a judgment, and instead keeps Paul in prison. Felix would occasionally call Paul to him, hoping to receive a bribe but instead hearing Paul talk about righteousness, self control, and the judgment to come. Two years pass before Felix is succeeded, leaving Paul in prison the entire time. Pastor Bob reminded us of the opening of Psalm 13: “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall.” Paul must have felt similarly deserted, sitting in prison for two years. How often do you feel forgotten? Left alone? Hidden from people, the world, or God? It’s easy to feel stuck in our thoughts, overcome with sorrow, feeling like the enemy is going to win. But the Psalm ends in hope: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” God is always good. His love never fails. And His salvation should cause us to rejoice constantly. If Paul can overcome his circumstances to stay faithful, continuing to praise and give glory to God, so can we.

Scripture References: Acts 24:1-27

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